Top 5 Playoff Performances of Kobe Bryant
It is hard to imagine the NBA without Kobe Bryant. Kobe spent his entire career playing for the purple and gold. With all the issues that he faced over the years, he proved himself to be one of the most diligent students of the game and the most dedicated player this game has ever seen. He always paid more attention to winning and his zeal to win was second to none. Kobe gave his all on the court every single night, and it is that determination that gave him his 5 championship rings.
With 220 playoff games under his belt, Bryant sits at the fourth position in the all-time playoff scorers list. That is probably enough to describe the kind of beast Kobe was come playoff time. We all remember the epic performances that Bryant gave us either as a young and athletic no. 8 or a more experienced and mature no.24.
The 40 plus point games, the game-winners, flying dunks, difficult fade-away jump shots, Kobe for 20 years gave us many memorable performances. When the world needed a new Michael Jordan, he gave us the closest we may ever get. Love him or hate him, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to have ever touched the hardwood.
It is almost sacrilegious to select a few from a plethora of epic performances from this great legend. But, we have narrowed it down to his top 5 playoff performances of all time.
#5 45 points in Game 1 Western Conference Finals, 2001
The 2000-01 NBA Playoffs saw the Lakers bulldoze their way through a title and it was because of performances like these that the Lakers were able to set a record-breaking 15-1 run in the playoffs.
The San Antonio Spurs, with the ‘Twin Towers’ of Tim Duncan and David Robinson, entered the series with home court advantage and NBA’s top-ranked defense. Both of the above were left in tatters and the Spurs proved to be no match for the brilliance of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe went on to score 45 points on 16-28 shooting as he torched the Spurs to score the most number of points by a Spurs opponent. He also pulled down 10 rebound in the midst as this epic performance set the pace for the series.
Bryant's performance was so impressive that Horace Grant, a former teammate of Michael Jordan, referred to him as "No. 23."
The Lakers won the game 104-90 as they went onto sweep the Spurs and win back to back titles in 5 games against the Philadelphia 76ers.